Meet the Board
Rotterdam, New York
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, DISABILITY RIGHTS ADVOCATE
Santabarbara’s devotion to helping and enriching his community combined with his passion for improving the lives of those with autism aligns with IBCCES’ mission to improve the overall quality of life for individuals with cognitive disorders. Santabarbara held public office as a county legislator for five years before being elected to the New York State Assembly in 2012. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region and was the recipient of the Autism Society of America’s Distinguished Leadership Award.
“It’s a distinct privilege for me to serve on this board and have this opportunity to contribute to their mission,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara. “People with disabilities and special needs should have every opportunity to pursue the life they want to live. Kids like my son Michael may the face unique challenges of autism; however, that shouldn’t prevent them from realizing the American Dream,” said Santabarbara. “As a state, we must do more to ensure these individuals are treated with respect and equality, and are given every opportunity to live healthy, independent lives and work towards their goals,” Santabarbara added. “This incredible opportunity to work with people from across the country on this important issue will strengthen our state on this important issue and gives all New Yorker’s with disabilities a stronger voice.”
Santabarbara has long been an advocate for disability rights and has championed legislation to protect and empower individuals with autism. He introduced Autism Action NY in 2016 with a mission to better help individuals with autism by increasing job opportunities, providing independent housing options, improving access to information, assisting in communication and creating a centralized location for services in New York State. Santabarbara has already made great strides in achieving these goals. Earlier this year, he sponsored legislation to help law enforcement find people who have a tendency to wander, including people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Alzheimer’s and other related conditions (A.1648). Last year, he authored and passed a law making a New York State Autism/Disability ID card available to families and individuals to use as a communication tool for emergency situations and interactions with law enforcement or first responders (Ch. 209 of 2018).